The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.
We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.
Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.
First, a note on the future: My thoughts on the final coming tomorrow. For now, I’ve already tipped my hand on Slate and in this comment on Alan’s post, which takes some stats out of context to tell a different story about Spain. I love you, Netherlands, in all ways, but for the next 48 hours my tears look like tildes and upside-down exclamation marks. In the meantime, I’m a week late on links.
I did a piece for Slate on the history of Dutch football and why rooting for Spain is the best way to honor it. By simple virtue of the fact that you’re here, you probably already know who Rinus Michels is, and there wasn’t room to go into points like Cruyff’s role in forging Spanish tactics. But there’s some significant RoP doctrine toward the end.
I also write a flurry of posts for Yahoo!, on subjects ranging from Italian xenophobia to heartwarming bus tours to terrifying smackdowns in the psychic animal world:
Many great things have been written elsewhere while I was putting off rounding up the links, and at this stage of saturation and weariness I won’t remember even most of what’s mattered during that time. Recent goodnesses that come immediately to mind include Fredorrarci’s monumental post on the World Cup and mortality, Tom on whether Spain are boring, Alex Massie on the Unofficial Football World Championship (an absolutely fantastic subplot), and David Winner on cross-pollination between the Netherlands and Germany (a taste of what might have happened had the ’74 rematch come through).
Oh, and Twitter is fun. Get in on it.
by Brian Phillips · July 9, 2010